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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #16
 
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Well...the shots DID focus on the boat, but I guess they decided to cut that out. I've got original shots for the whole sequence, there were 8 passes around the boat/simulated firing sequences, I'm not sure why they didn't do more with that footage. Then again, I didn't see the episode. Any chance I could get you to send me a stream of it?
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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #17
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I'm really not equipped for streaming Eagle. My HDTivo is in a dedicated HT setup....no computer.

What was disappointing was how razor sharp the shots preceding and following the Z1 shots were. I agree with you, I have no idea why they chose what they did based on what you've reported.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #18
 
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:-) Actually, my last name is "Spotted Eagle" but most folks call me "Spot."
I might be forced to download the stream from the CBS site, except that it's in REAL, and I can't begin to speak of how much I hate REAL.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #19
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So then I should have called you "Mr. Spotted Eagle". ;)
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Old March 6th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #20
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And the winner is...

The winner is Mike Moncrief, who correctly identified the HDV footage as the brief clip from over the machine gun. I was at a seminar last week on HDV, which included a presentation from the DP who shot the footage, Jody Eldridge, who showed the clip, along with some other material he shot with his Z1 of Las Vegas lights, which was much more impressive.

Regarding the JAG footage, he said they elected to use the Z1 (while his $150,000.00 Sony 950 sat at home) due to the cramped conditions on the copter. The footage was quickly dubbed to a Sony HDCam deck and sent to post to CG in the the tracer bullets for insertion into the show.

I won't swear to this, and I didn't ask, but this sounds like a case where they had other cameras that would be their primary coverage for the scene, and someone thought it was worth risking a few bucks to see if they could get one more shot for the final edit. If it worked, great. If it didn't, no big deal. In the end it worked out, and everyone's happy.

BTW, the most interesting presentation of the evening was by Brad Wright, the developer of HDVxDV, software to allow you to edit HDV in FCP. Check it out. http://www.dvdxdv.com/HDVxDVsite/Overview.htm

Sony had some OK "eye candy" footage shot with the Z1, but nothing that knocked me out. I think they will be buying Jody's Las Vegas footage, which was much more interesting than anything Sony's people shot.

Surprisingly, in footage from a side-by-side shoot out between the Z1 and a Sony PD150, the PD150 held its own. Not so much a knock on the Z1 as another example of what a teriffic camera the VX2K/PD150 series is.

All footage was viewed on a theatre size screen using a Sanyo projector. Most of the footage was from hard drives.

The seminar was put on by the LAFCPUG and sponsored by Promax.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old March 6th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #21
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Wayne, I'm wondering if you saw the actual footage that was used in that Jag episode. Having recorded it on an HD Tivo and watching it over and over, I can tell you the footage was easily distinguished from the footage preceding and following it. On either side of the Z1 footage, the shots were razor sharp. It seems that for some reason the shot that was used focused only on the machine gun and not the ship at sea. The result was that it appeared as if the scene was out of focus. It didn't look much better to my eyes than some single chip consumer DV cam.

What I really found disappointing is that owning an FX1 and seeing how incredibly sharp and pristine footage from the unit is when displayed on my 50" Fujitsu HD plasma, I expected far far better from the material used for Jag. It seems that Spot saw footage that was more impressive than what was finally used on the show. Go figure.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #22
 
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Ken, I'm certain Wayne saw the original JAG footage, as that's what Jody has been showing around. I've also got the Las Vegas footage and the Bowl footage Jody's been showing around, showing it here in NYC tomorrow night. I think Jody's also got some of our Hawaii and Mexico footage too.
Anyway, the footage Sony has from Bali is impressive, but none of the other stuff is all that exciting.
We've got some wonderful footage of bull elk fighting from last week that we'll be showing around, already sold 5 mins of it to Nat'l Geo, so we're pretty excited.

The JAG stuff seems to have been deliberately messed up, but I'm not sure why. Wayne, I don't know if you saw both, but it looked that way to me. Your thoughts?
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Old March 7th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #23
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The footage I saw was the raw footage from the camera. As I said, it had been dumped to HDCAM for the inserts. I remember thinking exactly what Ken saw; the boat looked out of focus, with the focus set for the machine gun. My guess is, Jody Eldridge maybe thought it was better to focus on the machine gun to aid the look of the CG tracers. Or, possibly he was told by the CG effects crew to shoot it that way. Effects gurus have a lot to say about how footage gets shot, and sometimes they make poor decisions. Don't we all. But I am reading an awful lot into a 2sec shot. Then again, we all spend so much time talking about how to achieve narrow depth of field with these cameras, and end up with the heaviest ND we can find to get a wide aperture, we sometimes forget that a large depth of field can help a shot like this.

Anyway, shooting in a situation like this is a great pressure cooker; you have to shoot like you only will get one take, and every little decision you make will affect the outcome. You have to hope your experience will cover all the mechanical bases, and you can concentrate on the "art."

So, to answer your question, Spot, I didn't see the JAG episode, so I don't know if they did anything else to the footage in post. But besides the boat looking out of focus, I seem to also remember it being a bit overexposed. Not sure about that.

BTW, Spot, where did you shoot in Hawaii? I may be shooting some beauty shots over there later this year, and am looking for suggestions.

W.
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Old March 7th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #24
 
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I shot all over the island, but if you want to know the best places, they're up in the Koolau mountains. Connecting you to a great guide (friends, not paid folk) is as easy as an email or phone call. I have many professional shooter-friends that live there. On most all islands. Oahu is the least easy access, then Maui. The best island, IMO, is either Hawaii or Kuaii.
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Old March 7th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #25
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Thanks for your kind offer, Spot. I will definitely contact you if the project firms up.
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